Ask a Trooper: Motorcycle safety tips for spring

Spring roads carry specific hazards for motorcycles.

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question: Can you talk about motorcycle safety going into spring riding?

Answer: Here is some helpful information that was shared on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s blog.

Finally, some sunshine and warmth: The perfect time to dust off your motorcycle and get back on the open road, if you haven't already. There are a few riding hazards that only spring can bring. Best to know how to navigate them safely. And while you're at it, how about signing up for a rider training course?

Sometimes the things your city or town did to help mitigate the effects of snow and ice during the winter – that is, laying down sand or gravel on the streets – can prove hazardous for motorcyclists in the spring. Keep an eye out for it especially at intersections and turns.

Cycles of freezing and thawing can also make the pavement crack and buckle. This can result in anything from uneven surfaces to large potholes, so watch the road carefully. And remember that the ice may not be entirely gone yet. Spring nights can still get pretty cold, which can cause snow runoff to refreeze. Watch for it especially in shady spots or on early morning spring rides.


No matter what season it is, remember to wear full, brightly colored protective gear, including a DOT-approved helmet. It'll keep you visible to other motorists and protect you in case of a crash.

A great way to sharpen up your skills after the long winter is to take a rider training course from the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC). The MMSC rider training program has served riders for more than 35 years with affordable, high-quality, professional training and education. Training starts in April at sites throughout the state.

Before you think training is just for beginners, consider this: The MMSC offers training for every skill level. For example, the Intermediate Rider Course is a great way to warm up for this year's riding season or practice on a new motorcycle. All riders should take a training course every couple of years to keep their skills sharp. It also makes for a fun day out on your motorcycle.

So visit to read about course offerings and register for training courses. Then you can ride safely throughout the season with confidence.

Here is another resource:

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,

Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota to: Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol , 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. Follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at

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